Friday, September 16, 2011

It's 5 a.m. and I can't sleep

It was 6:15 and I needed to get back on the road. I knew it was time to say goodbye. But the click and rush of the ventilator was making it hard. I leaned over and told him I loved him. I told him he was a great dad. I told him to rest and let his body heal. I told him to talk to Jesus. I squeezed his chilly hand and kissed his cool forehead. I smoothed out his bed head one last time. I gulped back the tears and left the ICU. Once I got in the car, I slumped my shoulders and cried like a baby, sure that I had said goodbye to my dad one last time.

On the two and a half hour ride home, I replayed some memories. I saw him in the stands at one of my swim meets. I came into the pharmacy in one of my Halloween costumes to trick or treat for an enormous candy bar since he had to work. I was in Toronto seeing Phantom with both he and my mom. It was bittersweet. One thing is for sure, when you're working through saying goodbye to a loved one, don't listen to Country music OR Christian music alone in the car on a relatively long drive. It's enough to send you over the edge.

So you can imagine my delight and surprise when I spoke with him on the phone last night at 9:15. Call in hours to the ICU are 9 am and 9 pm. If anything happens in between those hours, they call you. Promptly at 9:01, I called in. Erin, the nurse, was happy to tell me they took him off the ventilator earlier in the day and that he was sitting up and eating some mashed potatoes. He is off the insulin drip and they have nearly weaned him off the blood pressure medication that was stabilizing him. Granted, he's weak and still has many issues, but they have decided to treat him medically and with diet rather than surgery.

Miracle? Miracle!

I asked the nurse if there was a phone in his room. I pretty much knew the answer. You aren't in the ICU to chat on the phone. But she was somehow able to rig a phone call to him. I wanted him to know that Steve and I are on our way this weekend. The first thing I said was, "DAD!!!!" The first thing he said was, "YES!!!! It is!" This is the way we start EVERY conversation on the phone. I can't tell you how giddy I was. Steve said it sounded like Christmas morning around here.

We have a crazy uphill battle to climb with his health. The next step is getting him into a rehab facility where this won't happen again. I'd really like him to come to Dayton. That is a fight you can pray for. We will head up there this weekend to fight that fight. The goal will be to get him strong enough to move back to his apartment; I feel he should be near us in order to reach that goal.

No one needs to argue with me about the fact that God is a healer. I know that sometimes He chooses to and sometimes He doesn't. Today, I am thankful that He has chosen to bring my dad back a little while longer.

9 comments:

KTC said...

sooooo glad! Thanking the Lord with you!

And, on a lighter note... you may have a new career - writing books on how to handle hospitals or something like that. you've become a pro!

Cindy Q said...

E, Great news! I am so glad.
God is working. I also think He used you to help save your life. I'm not sure the outcome would have been the same if you hadn't of visited him in that rehab and questioned the nurses about his ability to stay hydrated. I hope he won't return to that rehab and he really is willing to come to a rehab in Dayton. After all, he isn't moving to Dayton. Just till he can go back to his home in Toledo, right? ;)

Cindy Q said...

Opps, meant "I also think He used you to help save your Dad's life"

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

Yay! Fight hard to get him to come back to Dayton with you. For him to get better, he needs people who know him and can advocate for him nearby. Praising God for His awesome show of healing power. Praying for all the next stages.

jenny from mommin' it up said...

LOVE. Praise the Lord! Praying for the fight!

The Wellmans said...

E, what wondeful news! Praying for the stubborn wall to break down :). Looking forward to reading how the Lord is going to continue to heal your dad!

Momma of The B.M.C. Report said...

What a blessing. So thankful he is doing better!!

Gwen Smith said...

Oh, Elizabeth! My heart is swelling with joy for you! Praise GOD! We will continue to pray for you and for your father to embrace a new journey to Dayton! :) Blessings from NC -

Gwen

Greg&Kara said...

Oh Elizabeth. Praise God your dad is on the mend. I will be praying you can avoid emotional shutdown. One day at a time...